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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  October 8, 2013 1:00am-2:00am EDT

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either way he's getting log clobbers. this is the first poll in virginia since the shutdown hit. who knows how long it will go on. now it is time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. have a great night. >> everyone says the republican leadership is just out of control crazy and they just don't know what they're doing. some republicans say that. that's one explanation. a possible explanation for what you're seeing in washington. but what if, just what if the republicans know exactly what they're doing and what they're doing is shutting down the presidency? >> it's day seven of the government shut down. >> week two looks a lot like week one. >> they should prove it. >> put it on the floor monday or tuesday. >> call a vote right now. >> put it on the floor and give it a chance. >> let's see what happens. >> except that you have more republicans coming out. >> saying they will support a
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clean cr. >> really? >> the shut down got married. >> the debt limit is right around the corner. >> the sect thing congress needs to do is raise the debt ceiling. >> it makes the stake so much higher. >> john boehner kept saying i want to have a kchgs. >> he used the word conversation 22 times in that interview. >> the goal posts have moved again. >> now they are stuck. >> for them, a win is -- >> full capitulation. >> to have him cry uncle. >> it's time for us to take a stand. >> it's not enough to take a stand.
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in the end you have to govern. >> the boehner bhungalers. that's the headline of the column in the "new york times" today. what he called the keeply incompetent house republican leadership. the professor goes on to refer to the house of representatives as the keystone cops and the boehner bungleers. but there is another possible. the one that no one is considering.
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what if what if john boehner and the house republican leadership and senator ted cruise know exactly what they're doing and exactly why they're doing it? what if they are playing a much longer and bigger game than anyone has noticed. what if their concern is the presidency and nothing but the presidency? and what if the republican party, the party that created the modern imperial presidency has looked at the romney electoral results. what if they have looked at the changing demographics and what
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if the republican party realizes that the presidency is increasingly a long shot for the republican party and they have decided it is time to end the imperial presidency? it is time to deny the president wherever possible. what if the republicans have decided it is time to shut down the presidency? >> if we get in a hapt where a few folks are allowed to extort concessions based on a threat, then any president who comes after me, not just me will find themselves unable to govern effectively.
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now they are determined to prevent the president from governing. they are not trying to shut down the government. they are shutting down the presidency. the only thing they are trying to defund in government is the thing they have attached the president's name too. the republicans built the imperial presidency in an era when they firmly believed they would never ever again have control of the house of representatives. it was huge, insurmountable and permanent.
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they believed a permanent hold on the white house. republicans wanted to see as much power as possible residing in the white house but now they don't. now they are building the imperial -- >> any president who comes after me, not just me, will find themselves unable to govern effectively. >> so the question tonight is are they really the boehner bunglors or do republicans know exactly what they are doing? >> joining me tonight, the national review.
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i don't like stupidity or evil. when i try to find the reason in what i'm looking at here, it seems to me that this new republican party no longer wants an imperial presidency. >> i look at it somewhat differently. he was one of the most conservative republicans from texas. and her point of view was basically she actually said the united states is not really a democracy. it's a representative republic. i think the tea party does not believe in democracy unless they're in charge of it.
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i think they are in terrible trouble. the democratic congress is under by minus nine. there is a fairly good chance and nobody would have said it six months ago. you couldn't want to do this on purpose. i doubt that john boehner does. >> you have great republican sources on this. they are looking at the same polls that the governor sees, that we all see that this is really dangerous for their congressional elections.
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they don't really you kind of solve the problem pretty quickly. >> i understand your argument. and maybe i'm too close to covering the situation. to think there is some kind of grand design, i don't see it. i see confusion and indecision. i see john boehner grappling with his own power. the party would like to diminish the presidency. at the same time the house does not have a coherent strategy. >> let me add to that point, all of these things in my view of this, what is very clear is what the president said.
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this kind of constant recurring crisis over things that used to be routine is something that he is trying to protect future presidents from suffering but it seemed to me that this new house republican party is going to want to use exactly this kind of weaponry on this president and future presidents. >> let me make the opposite case for just a second. it has emboldened the president to do all kinds of things. i would argue this has emboldened the president to continue his agenda. >> let's listen to some of the dissent that is going on within the republican party now.
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i would say senator cruise and those who insisted on this tactic. basically he took a lot of folks into the ditch. now that we're into the ditch. >> robert, to your knowledge, have there been any house republican speakers? >> very much so. in fact, i spoke recently with congressmen and many others within the house. they told them they don't want to see a default and want to end the shutdown. >> the bill that is being
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presented to end the government shut down never the less, democrats are prepared to put the majority of votes on to reopen the government. funding levels that reflect republican wishes and don't at all reflect our wishes.
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>> that is is a perfect description of how republicans constantly move the goal posts. >> i think you're seeing -- i agree with that. back in the last session, you know, i thought that he didn't know how to take yes for an answer. so basically this continuing resolution includes the sequester money. you know, i think the president looks very strong here. i really do. you cannot tie a policy matter to whether you're going to pay your debts.
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so it's their budget. so then to turn around and say we're not going to pass the budget, we're not going to pay the debts that we incured because we didn't get our way, that's just not going to play with the american people. i guarantee you. >> thank you both very much for joining you tonight. >> the shut down has been months in the making. and the coke brothers approved of it right from the start. and what harm a u.s.
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>> who came up with the republican idea to defund obama care, i hope that you're not surprised to learn that the coke brothers were involved. ♪ [ male announcer ] let's go places. but let's be ready. ♪ let's do our homework. ♪ let's look out for each other. let's look both ways before crossing. ♪ let's remember what's important.
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let's be optimistic. but just in case -- let's be ready. toyota. let's go places, safely. they always have. they always will. that's why you take charge of your future. your retirement. ♪ ameriprise advisors can help you like they've helped millions of others. listening, planning, working one on one. to help you retire your way... with confidence. that's what ameriprise financial does. that's what they can do with you. ameriprise financial. more within reach. >> i don't want the government to shut down. i have said that throughout. >> a "new york times" report reveals that today's shut down actually is part of a mobt's long strategy to tie government funding to defund obama care.
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actually told the "new york times" we felt very strongly at the start of this year that the house needed to use the power of the purse. behind the republican pursestrings are the coke brothers who have been deeply involved in financing the overall effort. >> we should not shut down the government. we should fund every bitd of the government.
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everies a pektd of the government. 100% of the government except for obama care. >> joining me now, msnbc political analyst. crystal, there is ted cruise saying the talking points as developed by the strategy. >> they certainly found a willing partner there. they talked in this article how they felt that they were spinning their wheels. they were not getting the aggressive defund. i think the two key ingredients that they got over the summer. and when they also are great with the tool kit that you are mentioning at whipping up this frenzy among the base. using these simplistic talking
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points saying we sent you there to get rid of outside money. that's how we ended up in the mess that we're in now. >> what i always expected to see after the affordable health care was passed that it would have to compete in the future with other budget items and other budget items that are of interest. a big deficit reduction bill. democrats have cut them in the past. and one of the items that republicans could put on the table in something like that is exactly if they want to get in and do the real legislative work.
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instead they have gone for this impossible let me tie this segment together with the one you justid. >> please do. >> we saw the "new york times" story that you cited in this segment, what we did a couple of weeks ago is that there was not a republican plan. there was a right wing plan. a conservative plan from the very get go to get this all gymed up. there were a couple of tea party members of the house. before ted cruise is a household name to a cr that was being debated back in march. and john boehner and the whole house leadership would have nothing to do with it.
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and that really comes about because there is a hidden infrastructure out there. they have their friends on the hill. but they just don't let up and they have lots of money and more importantly, they have the grass roots base. more than john boehner does. and that's why boehner turned tail. this isn't just if you do what we want you to do we will contribute money to your campaign or if you don't do, then maybe we will run some ads against you. as david is saying they are the ones with all the influence among the base. it's not really the outside groups that these congressmen are fearing.
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it is the rabid republican base in their districts coming up and showing up at town halls and screaming at them. >> listen, you can't count on outside groups. >> david, there used to be a center of both parties that resisted the impulses that were coming from the left edge of the party and there was also a conservative edge of the democratic party represented by senators that we no longer have. and just like the republican party used to have the different factions. this thing you describe as just a handful.
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>> john boehner has absolutely no leverage over this radical band of jackals within his own party. they worry about coke money. they don't want it against them. they don't care about being chairmans of committee. they they don't care about that? it's all about getting on tv, websites, getding involved with twitter and social media. and there are he has no sticks any more to use. these people are really running wild.
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>> crystal ball, thank you for joining us tonight. >> thanks. >> sure thing. >> coming up, what catastrophe really looks like if we don't raise the debt ceiling and in the rewrite, what john boehner got wrong about the history. mes having a big tire event? your ford dealer. who has 11 major brands to choose from? your ford dealer. who's offering a rebate? your ford dealer. who has the low price tire guarantee, affording peace of mind to anyone who might be in the market for a new set of tires? your ford dealer. i'm beginning to sense a pattern. get up to $140 in mail-in rebates when you buy four select tires with the ford service credit card. where'd you get that sweater vest? your ford dealer.
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>> in spotlight tonight, the looming debt limit.
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>> it went up 18 times under ronald reagan. six times under president bill clinton and seven more times under president george w bush. now let's sit back and enjoy this c-span video montage of the horrible fights on the house and senate floor over raising the debt krooeling. >> yeah, there is no footage of c-span debt ceiling wars because, of course, raising the debt ceiling was never, not for
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one day, in doubt in those days. in less than two weeks, the united states treasury could fail to meet all of its financial obligations. our credit rating was downgraded. the u.s. treasury department issued this warning about the new debt limit fight. those consequences include high interest rates, reduced investment, higher debt payments and slow economic growth. could last for more than a generation.
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tea party freshman and a large animal vegetarian. large animal veterinarian actually said this. >> former economic advisor for joe biden. in the past, there were plenty of members of the house who did not understand the debt ceiling. they were instructed on how to vote for it by their leadership. you can sit on the sidelines and watch others vote for it. now you have this large animal
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veterinarian in the house who actually has no idea that not raising the debt ceiling could cause any problem anywhere in the united states or the world. if first thing to say, i think, is because we don't fully know what all the effects would be. it certainly wouldn't be pretty. when i hear some of the conservatives and just pay the creditors, imagine the government paying all of this money to a sovereign fund while it says to the lady down the street but we can't pay your social security check in order to keep things bubbling along.
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this is crazy to take this risk. you are very right. people say obama voted against it. you let the other guys do it but no one threatened not to do it. >> it would be a lot better for the president today if he had voted for the debt ceiling that one chance he had to do it. as we all knew and knew at the time. both party leaders would have come together and made sure they have the right vote count. those days are long gone. >> it was a bad vote. the point is that the debt ceiling was going to be raised.
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let me just amplify some of the points. it's true that we don't know exactly what it will do. i bet you it would be really terrible. every economist you can talk to will tell you that interest rates will rise. anyone who is thinking about lending money to someone who got close to default would insist on a higher interest rate. now you have screwed up the bond market. you couldn't pay the debt service on the deficit any more. we would have to cut spending pretty quickly if this dragged on at all. this would take recovery into recession.
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bad for the bond market, bad for the stock market. >> the debt ceiling or debt limit has a bad name debt limit sounds like a good thing. sounds like you had a good limit on debt. without that cliff attached to it as bernanke did, without that little verbal trick, it would have been very hard to exprez to people that something dangerous was coming. making them realize that they have some serious risks in this if they have mortgages and car loans.
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>> it's a terrible name and idea. we should get rid of it. a lot of people hear this and they say this will put some restraint on the future. congress has already voted for programs they have committed to borrowing this money. so the debt ceiling is only a declaration that we will actually pay our debts. it would be nice if one result of the crisis is if congress would abolish the idea of a debt ceiling all together. it is an antiquated terrible idea. >> go ahead. >> i guess, you know, the thing that comes to mind is that when
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did we stumble into a politics that creates massive problems like this? we're not talking about resolving problems. i would like congress to take an oath. we just won't make things worse. when you talk about breaching the debt ceiling that is like going from a mow ski toe bite to a shark bite. when did we stumble into these politics. >> and as i say, coming up in
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the rewrite, it's going to be all about john boehner and and a new pole shows 24 -- 24 house republicans are now vulnerable in the next congressional election all thanks to the shut down. i am today by luck. i put in the hours and built a strong reputation in the industry. i set goals and worked hard to meet them.
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accurate statement requires just the slightest slightest rewrite. and it would be this. no president in modern history has ever had to seriously negotiate over a debt limit. debt limits have never been used to force big policy changes in washington. there it is. that's all you have to do. raising the debt ceiling was never once seriously in doubt. yes, there are some stories in the past of people trying some stunts but did not work. but they never created a minute of doubt that the debt ceiling would be raised. including that stunt made by ted
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kennedy and walter mondale to attach campaign finance reform to another debt ceiling. what has happened many times over the years is that a debt ceiling increase has been included as a non-controversial and unnoticed item in a larger legislative vehicle. the debt ceiling was not forcing the big policy changes that might be in some of those bills. it was simply riding quietly along in the baggage compartment of those bills unseen by almost everyone. could be easily misled by the word amendment.
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can be almost indescribably complicated. it might look like the senate was unwilling to pass the debt ceiling without those amendments but in fact, probably most of the senators had no idea that the debt ceiling was the underlying vehicle, the chassis on which these amendments were sitting. a lot of times members of the senate don't even know what the senate is. if you're playing very close attention on c-span you may not realize that the amendments are
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to an invisible underlying bill. and the underlying before speaker boehner, the debt ceiling was so non-controversial that most political reporters and most political pundits and most members of congress had never used the phrase in a sentence. and many of them, if not the majority, did not understand it. which is why on the night the republicans won the house of representatives and assured john boehner's rise, there was one commentator on television who predicted that john boehner was going to face a serious challenge. >> the single most important vote ever cast by members of the house and the senate and that is
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on the debt ceiling. our debt ceiling is now 14.3 trillion dollars. it will need to be raised in the coming year. >> that guy didn't have to be particularly bright. he just had to know what the dealt ceiling is. it was a completely non-controversial invisible element of our government. the staff of the senate finance committee where we actually had to write debt ceiling increases into law. john boehner cannot be allowed to pretend that the madness that he is allowing to run rampant is
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something that every president in modern history has had to contend with. >> every president in modern history has negotiated over a debt limit. debt limits have been used to force big policy changes. >> there is exactly one speaker in modern history who has seriously tried. by exactly one speaker of the house and that speaker of the house is not speaking the truth. here once begin. >> this is something routine. it has been done more than 40 times since ronald reagan is
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president. it has never before been used in the kind of ways that the republicans are talking about using it right now. [ banker ] sydney needed some financial guidance so she could take her dream to the next level. so we talked about her options. her valuable assets were staying. and selling her car wouldn't fly. we helped sydney manage her debt and prioritize her goals,
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>> a new pole shows how democrats can win back the house of representatives next. lways b. [ tires screech ] ♪ [ beeping ] ♪ may you never be stuck behind a stinky truck. [ beeping ] ♪ may things always go your way. but it's good to be prepared... just in case they don't. toyota. let's go places, safely. a confident retirement. those dreams, there's just no way we're going to let them die.
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♪ like they helped millions of others. by listening. planning. working one on one. that's what ameriprise financial does. that's what they can do with you. that's how ameriprise puts more within reach. ♪ i've got a big date, but my sinuses are acting up. it's time for advil cold and sinus. [ male announcer ] truth is that won't relieve all your symptoms. new alka seltzer plus-d relieves more sinus symptoms than any other behind the counter liquid gel. oh what a relief it is. >> the shut down is harming people every day.
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i think we're seeing that in the kind of ironic actions of those who chose to shut the government down, item by item, trying to reopen the government for things as they discover that there is real pain out there. >> the shut down can go on as long as it wants because it is politicallied a van teenageous? >> there are no winners there. >> losing a head to head contest with a generic democratic challenger in 17 districts. some in crucial election battleground states.
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joining me now is our co-host of the cycle. rarely do you see a congressional campaign so clearly laid out on an issue as you see here. one is the numbers, the other is corruption. you have 17 republicans in districts that obama won and another 17 in districts that romney won by less than three points. where we are headed now goes to something deeper and part of what you talked about tonight in the historical debt change.
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>> what you're talking about, it is -- is it in business? and other areas considered extortion? >> it really is. you think about and sometimes we looked at business as the wild or unregulated area but there are better rules than there are in members of congress. you cannot simply act in the best interest of the company you work for. you cannot deny it the ability to make a profit. these members of congress abusing their positions of power.
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it is fundamentally different. i do really believe this. if we get close to the line, people will see that as republicans out of control. >> how long are the republicans in danger on that list stay in line with john bain sner. >> that's the big question and i think you see that in john bain -- boehner's dishonesty. boehner doesn't believe he has the votes. he is lying or the republicans are lying. you and others have reported, there are a sufficient number of republicans not letting democracy work on the house floor.


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